Our People

 Left to right: Mike, Boun, Lawrence, Christa, Cora, Ria

 

Lawrence Grown  Founder, Lead Designer
Metro Lighting was founded in 1993 by Lawrence Grown to fulfill a need for architectural lighting–fixtures designed to compliment unique architectural environments. Lawrence earned his degree in 1990 from the acclaimed architecture program at the University of Cincinnati. His passions are for product development, sustainable design, and organic architecture. He is a charter member of Buy Local Berkeley, founder/Executive Director of the West Berkeley Design Loop, and founder of Commotion West Berkeley. Lawrence previously served on boards for many years at his three daughters' schools. In 2018 Lawrence designed and produced a large scale environmental art project for Burning Man: chilopod.life which is his biggest lighting "fixture" to date.  

Christa Rybczynski  Partner, Lead Designer, Operations
Also educated as an architect at the University of Cincinnati, Christa has enjoyed creating new lighting designs and working with designers and homeowners at Metro Lighting since 1994. In addition to being a designer, she wears many hats–bookkeeper, operations manager, and IT specialist. Whether it’s managing inventory, paying bills, or networking the computers, Christa brings her puzzle-solving skills to keep Metro Lighting running smoothly. Christa was a longstanding member of Walden Center & School’s Foundation until 2018, founded the Walden Parents Association and still serves on Walden’s Finance Committee. 

Cora  Designer, Showroom Manager
Knowledgeable, patient, and insightful, Cora has a knack for helping customers realize their personal design vision. Since 2009, she has guided hundreds of customers through the design process to come to their unique lighting solutions. A visual artist by training, Cora brings over 16 years experience in home furnishing and gallery sales, customer service, and retail merchandising to her work at Metro Lighting. Cora earned her BA in Art from UC Davis and completed a 10 week business course at Urban FIRE–Financial Intelligence Responsible Entrepreneurship.

Ria  Designer, Digital Marketing
Ria joined Metro Lighting in September 2019 after completing her degree in Industrial Design at San Jose State University. She interned with Metro Lighting for a summer while in school, helping us to organize thousands of photos while learning our product line. We are thrilled to have her come back after graduation. Her first task has been to create this beautiful new website!

Boun  Lead Fixture Fabricator
As part of Metro Lighting’s production team since 2007, Boun has over 25 years of metal fabrication, finishing, and lighting fixture production experience. A true master craftsman, Boun is our problem solver for anything metal or electrical. He is fastidious at keeping Metro Lighting's fixture production on schedule, even when he occasionally travels to visit his family in Laos. Boun is best known for his can-do attitude, as his answer to almost any custom fabrication question is: “No problem!” 

Mike  Metal Fabricator
Mike has been an invaluable part of our shop team since 2013, where he takes the lead in sandblasting and finishing lighting components, as well as completing final assembly. His prior experience includes a decade in lighting fabrication at Classic Illumination, 2000 Degrees, and Lightspann. 

Alex  Glass Blower
Alex is an Oakland based glass artist who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Glass Sculpture. Our Mirage and Dune lines are crafted by Alex and his team, who are committed to blowing pieces that are consistently beautiful and of the highest quality. In addition to his lighting work, Alex is also a prolific artist who has exhibited nationwide in several galleries including Colorado Springs Museum, Colorado Springs, CO; Adam Whitney Gallery, Omaha, NE; Pismo Gallery, Denver, CO; San Francisco Design Center at the A. Rudin Showroom.

Carl  Glass Blower
Carl has been working in the highly specialized medium of Lustre Art Glass for almost 40 years. Originated by Tiffany in 1881, and popularized in the early 1900's, Lustre Art Glass had fallen out of favor by 1925. But in the early 1970's, Carl was part of a small movement of artisans who mastered this sophisticated art form. The glass blower must be chemist as well as craftsman, as the raw glass can only be maintained in the furnace for a short period of time before the color, quality and texture of the batch begins to degenerate. Today, Carl is one of a handful of glass artists in the United States who continues to work in this traditional glass technique. 

Bob  Glass Fusing Artist 
Bob creates custom masterpieces in fused and slumped glass in a variety of shapes and designs. This highly flexible medium allows us to design pieces custom fit for each project. Color, pattern, and transparency are manipulated to create unique works in kiln-formed glass to suit the style, palette, and scale of each location. Also a stained glass artist, Bob's incredible creations are the result of time-honored traditional craftsmanship and a fusion of his own design vision with historical and contemporary trends. His stained glass windows are featured in homes and churches across the country and around the world.